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Africa Speaks

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Africa Speaks

Published 1930

You can find more information regarding this film on its IMDb page.

Audio/Visual sound, b&w


Reviewer: Spuzz - favoritefavoritefavorite - August 12, 2013
Subject: Africa mumbles
Documentary about Africa made in the 30's. Not bad, considering the date, but narration sometimes gets contrived and silly, and the mockups of the filmmakers shooting the footage is obviously fake. Some hunting too.. Oh well.
Reviewer: Jimmydee60 - favoritefavorite - May 5, 2007
Subject: Film edited
Why was this film edited ? I seen the film before and scenes of the native being attack were cut. I think it does the film and future generations an injustice as to how dangerous and brutal filming wild life can be. It also changes the whole idea of a documentary if your going to cut and edit from the way things were to how you want to change things to your taste. The native was really killed and eaten by the lions he was not an actor and their were no retakes. As for the the cold narration it was done after the film was processed and a script written so as not to be boring. The original film I would give 5 stars to but when you cut and edit things I can only give it 2.5 because it's only a part of the movie.
Reviewer: Grom - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 12, 2006
Subject: matter-of-fact to the end
A very educational movie. Lots of interesting information about animals, the Pygmies and the Masai. I presume the information was accurate. A good dose of low-key humour keep a grin on my face. The photography was good. I wondered how many cameras they had. Who was filming the camera man? Did we actually see any footage from the cameraman we observed so often.
There was no overt enthno-centricity. If anything, it was very complimentary towards the Pygmies, the Masai, their cultures and skills.
After their porter was killed by the lion towards the end, I kept watching, waiting for his ressurection. There was such a lack of remorse or grief, and the documentary tone was so unchanged, that I thought it was a false alarm, like a serial that changes the last few minutes of the previous chapter so that the hero is still alive at the beginning of the next chapter.
Definitely recommend this for education, a laugh, and general entertainment.
Reviewer: sys64738 - favoritefavoritefavorite - February 6, 2006
Subject: Correction
Correction to Little Nemo:
The white men did not shoot all lions in sight, they shot only one lion.
The natives om the other hand, attacked a lion with their spears, which is much more cruel and painful than using guns.
Reviewer: LeoF - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 19, 2005
Subject: Africa
My overall reaction to the film was: WOW! Then I began wondering how much of all of this is still left. I am no expert on Africa (or much else as well) but follow what I come across in the news. In the past year, there have been numerous stories about Pygmies being hunted as food by their neighbors and how their population has dropped to a near extinction level. There are also many serious extinction problems with the animal populations in Africa as well. This film and others like it might, unfortunately, in the not so distant future, be all that is left of a great heritage of the Human Race.

I would generally agree with the previous reviews with one major exception. In all sincerely, there has only be a superficial change in European attitudes towards Africa.
Reviewer: Little Nemo - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 6, 2005
Subject: Sometimes shocking
A nice piece of history, of both Africa and primitive American attitudes towards it. The narrator, who by the end you will wish had been torn apart by a lion, jokes about how tribal women are property and second-hand ones are sold for 'cut-rate prices!' Worst of all is when the two stupid white men send their native guide to run for some rifles, whereupon he is killed by a lion, whose instinct is to bring down running prey. The white men respond by shooting all the lions in sight. While the human killing might have been faked (though it sure doesn't look like it), the lion killings certainly weren't, so faint of heart watch out. Finally, the locust swarm was INSANE, and you'll need the biiig file to see it properly.
Reviewer: Christine Hennig - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 18, 2004
Subject: But the White Men Won't Shut Up!
This memorable adventure documentary from the early 30s influenced many other films to come. It features a pair of white male documentary filmmakers making their way across Africa, filming the wonders of nature and having many adventures along the way. Because it was made during an unenlightened time, its portrayal of the natives and the way animals are treated are excruciating to watch at times. Particularly upsetting are the way they portray the native tribesÃÂÃÂ treatment of women, but its hard to tell how accurate this is because the whole film is so skewed in its portrayal of natives. Still, the film is pretty entertaining to watch and has lots of action and wonderful scenes of animal life. And its unenlightened perspective makes it a historically interesting snapshot of popular attitudes towards Africa at the time. Many lesser films would be made according to this mold, so its good to see the original.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ****. Weirdness: ****. Historical Interest: *****. Overall Rating: ****.
Reviewer: Kampai - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 23, 2004
Subject: A 50 minute safari
Though the narration shows its naivete through banal humor, this 1930 captivating documentary of a 250+ person expedition deep into Africa captures moving, picturesque cultures, wildlife, and unforgiving nature.
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